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My Love/Hate Relationship With AYSO

My Love/Hate Relationship With AYSO

Oh, how I have a love/hate relationship with AYSO soccer! So, gentle reader, you may well ask what does “AYSO” stand for? Officially, it stands for American Youth Soccer Organization, and it has been around forever. I played it back in 1976. But I and other parents refer to it…
“She is herself a dowry.”

“She is herself a dowry.”

ON RAISING DAUGHTERS Two summers ago when she was preparing to start fourth grade, I read Romeo and Juliet with my oldest daughter, Julia. It took a long time to read each line and to examine closely the Elizabethan era prose/verse, and to discuss characterization and what Shakespeare was trying…
Summer Vacation With Aging Parents

Summer Vacation With Aging Parents

  My father and stepmother pose for the camera in Heisler Park, Laguna Beach on August 3rd, 2018. My father’s mother suffered a heart attack when she was 77. She survived it and was hospitalized, and all her children rushed to her bedside for support. A few weeks later, she had another…
My 51st Birthday

My 51st Birthday

Hello, year 51! Yes, today I turn 51 years of age. It is an anti-climactic day in light of last year: turning 50 years of age is momentous, turning 51 is just another year. 55 will be more of a marker, and my 60th birthday will be a huge landmark…
“Oh, Mother Russia!”

“Oh, Mother Russia!”

After my daughters went to sleep around nine last night I enjoyed my free hour before my own bedtime by sitting down in front of my flat screen TV to enjoy my Bose Soundbar 300 and Acoustimass (subwoofer) wireless sound system. The setup is new, and I am still seeing…
The Life One Chooses: Then, Now, and Tomorrow

The Life One Chooses: Then, Now, and Tomorrow

I read recently an excellent article by Jesmyn Ward about a book I teach each year, The Great Gatsby. It really struck home with respect to how the essayist suggests that the literary character Jay Gatsby resonates strongly for young people who see limitless opportunities as to what they can…
Let Us Act Wisely

Let Us Act Wisely

Protesters at the Gaza Strip border with Israel in May 2018. CHAOS IN THE MIDDLE EAST, AGAIN It was approximately March of 1999 and I was on the steps on the backside of Congress listening to Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) speak to my students and myself. He was our local representative…
One Photo and What It Says About the Presidency

One Photo and What It Says About the Presidency

Last weekend there was published a photo taken at the funeral reception for Barbara Bush, the matriarch of the Bush family who died last Tuesday on April 17, 2018 at the age of 92, having been married to George WH Bush for 73 years. Americans from across the political spectrum…
A Healthy Intellectual Life: Choices

A Healthy Intellectual Life: Choices

'Men have become the tools of their tools.” Henry David Thoreau So I have authored eight blog posts since I stopped posting to Twitter three months ago, and pretty much gave up all social media. Those eight essays cost me me many hours and much sweat to write. But they…
A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal

AN EDUCATED WORKFORCE FOR THE "INFORMATION AGE" UNITED STATES "The U.S. economy's largest and fastest growing sectors—business services, finance, healthcare and education—have little room for high school educated workers," notes a 2015 report from Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce. "Access to education is pretty much the arbiter of…
After 25 Years, I Finally Do It

After 25 Years, I Finally Do It

March 27, 2018 I can hardly believe it. After some twenty five years of abjuring the National Rifle Association and considering them to be extremists who were more trouble than they were worth, I am about to join them. I am going to join the NRA. I am going to…
What Might I Have Done Wrong?

What Might I Have Done Wrong?

The other day I caught my youngest daughter reading in her loft bed at night in the dark at 11:00 p.m. I was more than a bit angry, as I saw her bloodshot eyes peering out at me from her bed; she would be comatose the next morning, short of…
Breaking Up With Social Media

Breaking Up With Social Media

Back in the early days of the Internet it was not uncommon to have a “personal webpage.” It was in this environment that I started my own. More than twenty years later the topography of the Internet has changed. Fewer persons use “computers” (desktop or laptop) to access online, and…
Where To Go Next?

Where To Go Next?

I think I have attended only a handful of meetings in my life that were worth the time. I'm not talking about the informal meetings with a co-worker on almost a daily basis about the nuts and bolts of the job -- I am talking about formal meetings with the…
The Streets are Empty of Playing Children

The Streets are Empty of Playing Children

I drive around the streets where I live at 3:30 in the afternoon and I am surprised at what I don’t see: kids running around playing. The streets seem devoid of children playing. I do see clumps of middle and high school students getting off yellow school buses and walking…